Thursday, May 23, 2013

Music in the Cellar - Vancouver Views

Corey Weed's Cellar Jazz Club
The sound comes from underground, it's in the Cellar, the jazzy one. . .

Cory Weeds Cellar Jazz Club, Vancouver, DG Hudson Collection

Music in Vancouver comes in many varieties, but one of the best places to catch jazz is at Cory Weed's Cellar Jazz Club, in Kitsilano. Passersby can hear the music in the evenings as it drifts up the stairs. The intimacy of a smaller venue is perfect for a night out. This is not a place to dance, but rather a place to sip, listen and dine well at average costs.

Owner/Manager Cory Weeds, saxophonist, grew up in Vancouver, went away to study and returned to open his own jazz club, a haven for musicians. Check the links below if you're interested in the Vancouver Jazz Festival, beginning June 21 - June 30.  Cory's Cellar Jazz Club is one of the venues. During the Jazz Festival, reservations are required.

Corey Weeds and his Sax, by Green Eye

 Cory's jazz club has been compared to The Village Vanguard and the best of the New York jazz clubs. It's the quality of the entertainment, and the respect shown to the musicians that bring us back.

NOTE: as of the end of February 2014, the Cellar is closing. Read the details here:

(updated February 27, 2014)DGH

Jim Byrnes
One of the local favorites, a long-time blues musician, and actor, originally from St. Louis.

Jim Byrnes, Cory and group at the Cellar. DGH Collection

To hear Jim Byrnes' voice, My Walking Stick, click the link. Jim and the Sojourners always impress at Cory's Cellar Jazz Club. If Steve Dawson is on the stage as well, you're in for a triple treat. Youtube of My Walking Stick


There's a Difference . . . in this name

Cory Weed's Cellar Jazz Club in Kitsilano, is a live music club offering quality jazz and blues. Reservations are recommended.

A club with a similar name is The Cellar, a downtown nightclub on Granville Street featuring Vancouver's best DJs and an entirely different atmosphere.

Be sure you pick the right one for your musical tastes. . .

This post is part of the Vancouver Views series, a photo perspective of Vancouver and unique west coast topics. All photos by Green Eye are property of DG Hudson.


Jesse Cahill, Cory Weeds, Steve Kaldestad, by Green Eye 


Do you prefer a club that offers a dinner menu and quality live music, OR the best DJs, dancing, and mingling with music in the background?

Have your music tastes changed since your teens or twenties? (Are you broadening your musical interests, or are you a connoisseur of a lifelong style of music? (opera, popular, rock, etc.)


References: Cory's Weed's Cellar Jazz Club The musician Cory Weeds Jim Byrnes, the Actor Jim Byrnes, the blues musician Overcoming adversity - Jim Byrnes


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Victoria, BC - Island Capital

Victoria sits at the southern end of Vancouver Island off the coast of the Lower Mainland, in southern British Columbia. There's a 'United Kingdom' feel to this city with an Irish pub, British woolens and tartans, and bagpipes playing at the Inner Harbour.  We'll start with the ivy-decorated building below, The Empress.

The Empress Hotel, Victoria, BC by DG Hudson

The Empress Hotel, named after Queen Victoria, opened in 1908. It's one of several buildings facing the Inner Harbour.  In this Edwardian hotel, originally built as the terminus for the Canadian Pacific Steamship line, you can have afternoon tea in a plush setting, Victorian style, but be warned it's a bit pricey. Check the website for costs and reservations. The service was great when we there. It's an old 'railway' hotel, now managed by Fairmont. Emily Carr's childhood home was situated not far from the Empress Hotel. Many famous people have visited this hotel in the past, including kings, queens, movie stars, and more. The architect who designed it is said to haunt the hotel on occasion. Hubs and I spent our honeymoon here, but saw no ghosts.

The Empress is a National Historic Site of Canada. It's one of the more famous of the railway hotels managed by Fairmont, which includes Banff and Jasper in Alberta, Canada. Author Rudyard Kipling was a frequent visitor to Victoria and the Empress. One of the on-site restaurants was named after him, but Kipling's has since closed and been replaced by a seasonal restaurant.


Between the Empress and the Legislative buildings is the Royal British Columbia Museum. The 'royal' in the title was approved by Queen Elizabeth II and bestowed in 1987 by HRH Prince Phillip, during their royal tour that year. In 2003, the museum merged with the BC Provincial Archives.


Royal BC Museum, Victoria, from Wikipedia

The Royal BC Museum, which opened October 25, 1886, includes three permanent galleries: modern history, natural history and local First Nations' history.  The museum's collections comprise approximately 7 million objects, including artifacts, natural history specimens, and archival records.

The reason for founding the Royal BC Museum in 1886 was to respond to a petition from prominent citizens who were concerned about the loss of British Columbian artifacts to European and American museums. This museum also has a life-size town display of an old hotel from Victorian times. You can smell the cinnamon and apple pie in the simulated kitchen. The First Nations art is outstanding in its breadth and scope, in this walk-through exhibit of carvings and ancestral lodges. Highly recommended.


The British Columbia Parliament Buildings

BC's Parliament Buildings, Victoria, by DG Hudson

Across the street from the Royal British Columbia Museum, sits the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, which contains the Legislative Assembly of the Provincial Government. There's an interesting history about these buildings which replaced the 'Birdcages' of the original design which burned down. In the evenings, the Parliament Buildings are outlined by a multitude of lights, in the style of Paris illuminations.


The Inner Harbour in Victoria is a gathering place. Here you can see street buskers, bagpipe players, and lots of locals and visitors, during good weather and summer evenings. There are several small bistro type cafes, pubs, and a few full-service restaurants when you need a break. Most of the downtown sites are clustered within this area so you can walk to them. Other sites are the Buschart Gardens, Fort Rodd Hill, and Craigdarroch Castle. For more information, check our tourism site.

Victoria's Inner Harbour, on Vancouver Island by DG Hudson

Victoria is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, with British settlement beginning in 1843. The region's Coast Salish First Nations peoples established communities in the area long before non-native (or European) settlement. The First Nations people still maintain a healthy presence on Vancouver Island. Thunderbird Park is another site where you can view native art and totems.

BC Ferries is one of the ways of getting to Vancouver Island and Victoria. If you drive, be sure to check the schedules and the prices. This ferry leaves from either Horseshoe Bay, North Vancouver or Tsawwassen, in Delta, one of the Vancouver suburbs. Ferries carry vehicles and foot passengers. There are short flights which will carry you to the island as well.

BC Ferries to Victoria by DG Hudson


Hope you've enjoyed this brief visual tour of Victoria. If you're traveling to the Pacific Northwest in my area (Canada), you might want to include this beautiful city with its multitude of flowering baskets, as part of your visit. It's one of my favorite places, but only one of the interesting places on the island. More to come on Vancouver Island in a future post.

Have you ever visited Victoria, BC? How about Vancouver Island? Do you like historical sites and/or beautiful cities? I'd love to hear your comments or questions, and let me know if you've been to this city before. Thanks for stopping by and hope you'll visit again.


References:,_British_Columbia Victoria on Vancouver Island. The Empress Hotel High Tea vs Afternoon Tea The Royal British Columbia Museum Museum wiki

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Music in the Rafters - Vancouver Views

Christ Church Cathedral, shown below, is the place where we heard music beneath the rafters of a Heritage building. Its architecture, warm wooden interior and stained glass windows form a peaceful oasis in the downtown core. The Georgia Street side of the church sits across the street from the Hotel Vancouver.

Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver by DG Hudson

On April 26, the West Coast Symphony Orchestra performed in this beautiful church for two hours. The Hector Berlioz, 'Symphonie Fantastique' was the main piece. It's a story that's autobiographical and which helped to establish Berlioz's reputation. It tells the tale of unrequitted love, and the suffering of the artist.

Christ Church Side Garden facing Burrard St, by DG Hudson

Included in this program was a group of guest artist/musicians, the Music Progressive Quartet, from Skopje, Macedonia. They are members of the National Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, and their work was presented at the beginning of the concert. They have a fresh jazz approach to traditional folk songs of Macedonia.


About the Cathedral. . .

Dedicated in 1895, Christ Church Cathedral was built in the Gothic Style with a ceiling made of cedar planking and ceiling beams and floor constructed out of old growth Douglas fir. Maybe that's why it reminds me of a tall ship's interior cabins. The warm wood and structural design lend an elegance to the interior of the church.

Christ Church Cathedral Rafters, Vancouver by DG Hudson


The West Coast Symphony Orchestra, with Principal Conductor Bujar Llapaj, is a community orchestra of exceptional quality. They bring talented performers and new musical programs of classical works for audiences in the Vancouver area, and the Lower Mainland. Concerts that we've attended have been about 2 hours long.

In the image below, you can see the central stained glass windows and the arched ceiling rafters of Christ Church Cathedral.

West Coast Symphony-Tuning, by DG Hudson

Seeing the interior of this church brought to mind the exterior of Notre Dame in Paris, it has the same architectural style and similar design flourishes. I'm glad the church was saved from being replaced by a downtown condo! Let's continue to keep these survivors from earlier times to show us what craftmanship looked like, when life moved at a slower pace.

Gothic ceiling of Christ Church Cathedral, by DG Hudson

Live music with great acoustics can be enjoyed on a budget, if you know where to look. In this case, it's a symphony but other musical acts perform in Kitsilano and other areas in the city. Hope you enjoyed this little side trip into a piece of Vancouver.

Next on the cultural event horizon: Vancouver Jazz Festival in June.


Do you like live orchestral music? Any opportunities in your area to attend these type of events? Do you like the older churches with beautiful ceilings like this one?
Please share in the comments and thanks for stopping by.


Christ Church Cathedral-Vancouver West Coast Symphony (offers pay-by-donation events to sponsor music for everyone) Check website for details.